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Senior police officers in Shanghai are taking English-language training courses to help them better deal with increasing numbers of foreign nationals in the city.

About 100 top-level officers from the city’s public security bureau and district bureau chiefs began their nine-month courses at the weekend.

“More and more foreigners are coming to work and live here, and this presents greater challenges for the city’s police,” said Guo Yonghua, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau.

“The city’s public security departments have been looking to develop high-quality police officers to deal with the demands of foreign affairs.”

English-language training company (ESL jobs here)Wall Street English have developed a range of tailor-made courses, including “senior police officer English ability training”, “Shanghai police officer online English learning and social practice”, and “oral English corner”.

The courses focus on improving English listening and speaking skills, with native speakers providing one-on-one training. Trainees will do the courses in their spare time.

Chen Changjun, deputy director of the command center of the public security bureau, was one of 30 officers who took English training courses in 2009.

“I already had some foundation in English when I was in school, but I used it little after I graduated. This training gave me a chance to improve and helped me to better deal with daily work,” Chen said at the launch of the training program on Friday.

“As Shanghai attracts more people from overseas, so the city has to intensify its efforts to fight an increasing number of international crimes. There is a greater need for language skills,” Chen said.

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